ASK THE CONCIERGE

No­body knows the city bet­ter than your ex­pert concierge. Ben­jamin Mönkemöller from Ho­tel de Rome is here to help. www.lcdg.org

Where Berlin - - ESSENTIALS THE GUIDE -

What does your per­fect day look like?

My per­fect day starts with a big breakfast at Hall­mann & Klee (Böh­mis­che Str. 13), fol­lowed by a bike ride through Berlin, tak­ing in mu­sic shops such as Bis auf's Messer (www.bisauf­smesser.com), Core­tex (www.core­texrecords.com), and Dodo Beach (www.dodobeach.de) and go­ing past the mag­nif­i­cent Rum De­pot in Schöneberg. Then din­ner at my fa­vorite Ital­ian, Maselli (Nos­titzstr. 49), and live mu­sic in Kreuzberg at SO36, Cortina Bob, or Ur­ban Spree.

Where do you take your own vis­i­tors?

It de­pends on who they are, but I al­ways take my guests to Tem­pel­hofer Feld and the May­bachufer mar­kets. A beer at Ankerk­lause (www.ankerk­lause.de) is also a must.

What are your in­sider tips for Berlin?

If you like Viet­namese food, def­i­nitely visit the Dong Xuan Cen­ter (www.dongx­u­an­ber­lin.de) in Licht­en­berg for the best and most au­then­tic pho (noo­dle soup). Zi­gar­ren Herzog am Hafen (Stralauer Allee 9), with its walk- in hu­mi­dor, great drinks, and ex­cel­lent espresso served on the sunny ter­race is also great.

What do you do af­ter work?

I like to meet friends for a cool Quartier­meis­ter beer at Süd­block (Ad­mi­ral­str. 1-2).

Tell us about your ho­tel.

The Ho­tel De Rome build­ing is the for­mer head­quar­ters of Dres­d­ner Bank. The old vault now houses a swim­ming pool, and the old teller area is now a big ball­room. The five-star ho­tel stands for ex­cep­tional hos­pi­tal­ity, tasty food, and first- class fa­cil­i­ties.

What is your wildest ex­pe­ri­ence as a concierge?

Once, a guest had an es­pe­cially ob­scure re­quest: a bal­loon filled with live but­ter­flies for a kid's birth­day. We had to de­cline, of course.

A Ger­man spe­cialty?

This is ob­vi­ous: Cur­ry­wurst with fries! And do not for­get your beer!

How is Berlin dif­fer­ent from other cities?

Berlin is sim­ply dif­fer­ent – it al­ways hap­pens dif­fer­ently than you think. You ei­ther hate it or love it.

A ro­man­tic sug­ges­tion?

To re­lax, def­i­nitely Va­bali Spa (but mid­week!), or Ce­cilien­hof park in Pots­dam.

Im­ages: The Ankerk­lause bar in Kreuzberg; a bike in the park; Va­bali spa. In­set: Ben­jamin Mönkemöller.

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